Neighborhood socioeconomic status is associated with serum carotenoid concentrations in older, community-dwelling women

Emily J. Nicklett, Sarah Szanton, Kai Sun, Luigi Ferrucci, Linda P. Fried, Jack M. Guralnik, Richard D. Semba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A high dietary intake of fruit and vegetables has been shown to be protective for health. Neighborhood socioeconomic differences may influence the consumption of carotenoid-rich foods, as indicated by serum carotenoid concentrations. To test this hypothesis, we examined the relationship between neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) and serum carotenoid concentrations in a population-based sample of community-dwelling women, aged 70-79 y, who participated in the Women's Health and Aging Study II in Baltimore, Maryland. Neighborhood socioeconomic Z-scores were derived from characteristics of the census block of the participants. Serum carotenoid concentrations were measured at baseline and at 18, 36, 72, 98, and 108 mo follow-up visits. Neighborhood Z-scores were positively associated with serum α-carotene (P = 0.0006), β-carotene (P = 0.07), β-cryptoxanthin (P = 0.03), and lutein+zeaxanthin (P = 0.004) after adjusting for age, race, BMI, smoking, inflammation, and season. There was no significant association between neighborhood Z-score and serum lycopene. Older, community-dwelling women from neighborhoods with lower SES have lower serum carotenoid concentrations,which reflect a lower consumption of carotenoid-rich fresh fruits and vegetables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-289
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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